A cracked tooth can occur as a result of an injury or trauma or regular wear and tear to the teeth. There are a variety of symptoms from mild to severe that can accompany a cracked tooth. Cracked teeth are often painful; however, the pain may be sporadic, and your dentist may have difficulty identifying the troubled tooth without a thorough examination.
If you believe you may have a cracked tooth, it is best to seek cracked tooth treatment from a dental professional as soon as possible to reduce the likelihood of more invasive and costly treatment or even a tooth extraction. If a cracked tooth is treated early enough, it should return to normal function and pain-free biting and chewing.
Will I Know If My Tooth is Cracked?
If you haven’t experienced a trauma or injury to the mouth, it may be challenging to determine whether your tooth is cracked. Often, changes to our teeth are apparent, but if the crack is a result of general wear and tear to your teeth, or has developed gradually over time, you may not notice it immediately, especially if you aren’t experiencing tooth sensitivity.
Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth
Cracked tooth symptoms can vary from person to person. If you experience new pain when a tooth is exposed to extreme temperatures, or when chewing and biting food, these may be symptoms of a cracked tooth.
Swelling may occur near the area, which might be a good indicator of which tooth is cracked. Pain is the most common symptom involved with cracked teeth. However, discomfort is rarely continuous and usually comes and goes throughout the day.
If you are experiencing symptoms, we recommend booking a dental exam as soon as possible. Our highly skilled team of dentists can determine whether your tooth is cracked and go over your options for repair.
The Pain of a Cracked Tooth
The most commonly shared symptom of a cracked tooth is discomfort. When a tooth is cracked, the protective enamel and dentin become damaged, which then exposes the pulp of the tooth.
The pulp is the soft tissue that contains the tooth’s blood vessels and nerve endings. Not only does this make the pulp susceptible to the exposure of food and hot and cold temperatures, but the cracked portions of the tooth may begin to shift, causing irritation as well.
Diagnosing a Cracked Tooth
Diagnosing a cracked tooth sometimes requires a variety of methods. X-rays don’t always indicate where the crack is specifically, and not everyone shares the same symptoms. Your dentist will ask you some questions about the history of your oral health, such as whether you chew hard foods or grind your teeth. Your dentist will visually examine your mouth using a magnifying glass to determine whether they can see the crack. They may use a dental stain or dye to make the crack more obvious. Examining your gums for swelling can be helpful, and they may ask you to bite down on something to locate the pain.
Cracked Tooth Treatment Options
When considering how to fix a cracked tooth, treatment depends on the size of the crack, where it is located on the tooth, and whether it extends to the gums. Some of the treatment options for a cracked tooth might include:
- Dental bonding uses a tooth-colored composite resin to fill in superficial cracks and restore the appearance and function of your tooth.
- Dental crowns are prosthetic teeth crafted from ceramic or porcelain. Once impressions of your teeth are taken, they are sent to a dental lab where the crown is fabricated. The dentist can then fit the crown over the cracked tooth and cement it in place.
- Root canals may be necessary if the crack has reached the dental pulp. A root canal removes the damaged pulp to restore the integrity and function of the damaged tooth.
Cracked Tooth Healing
For a severely cracked tooth, a crown is the best way to ensure the crack is contained and does not spread further; however, this is not always preventable. The best way to care for your cracked tooth after receiving professional treatment is to practice good oral hygiene and minimize chewing on any hard or sticky foods.
Preventing Future Cracks in Teeth
Although sometimes a cracked tooth is unavoidable, there are certain precautions you can take to lower the risk of cracks in other teeth in the future. Avoid chewing on hard objects such as ice, popcorn kernels, or pens.
If you grind your teeth (during the day or in your sleep), ask your dentist about a customized mouth guard to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your teeth.
Always wear a mouth guard during contact sports or other risky physical activities. Practicing good oral health is essential as well and flossing once per day can ensure that no food particles get stuck between your teeth applying pressure that can over time weaken a tooth.
A cracked tooth requires professional and compassionate care from a skilled dental professional. With 35 dentists serving 15 Sydney locations, our team at No Gaps Dental is equipped to help you with all your dental health concerns.
Whether you think you might have a cracked tooth, or would just like to schedule a consultation, please to call us at (02) 8007 6727 or email us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to caring for your smile!